7 Vintage Horror Movies Every True Horror Fan Must See

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If you’re going to call yourself a horror fan, then you’ve got to embrace every decade that horror has to offer. Some films age like a fine wine; sometimes I pick up a ’30s horror film DVD, shake it around and hold it under my nose to smell the oaky freshness.

There are some people who refuse to watch a film if it’s in black-and-white, and I find this baffling. Colour isn’t the essential ingredient for a good film! The most important elements are a good plot, innovative directing and compelling acting.

The following classic horror films have all of those ingredients and more. They’ve stood the test of time and are essential viewing for any self-respecting film fanatic. There are at least 10 more I could’ve added, but I finally whittled it down to these diverse slices of golden age horror. These aren’t in any order, as all are equally worth seeing for one reason or another, so take my hand as I lead you down the pavement of horror history.

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https://moviepilot.com/p/best-vintage-horror-movies/4139457

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Twin Peaks Just Gave Us The Weirdest And Most Astonishing Hour Of TV Ever!

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It’s official! Showtime are the coolest network on television. They gave David Lynch a load of dollars and said, ‘go ahead and make whatever you want’ and he did. We’re eight episodes in to Twin Peaks now and it has promised to be just as ground-breaking as the original series back in 1991. We’ve had: talking electrical blob trees, charred tramps with floating heads, stab-happy dwarf hitmen and a haunted box amongst other demented things. There has been a narrative drive but the pace is so unapologetically glacial and ambitious that it has almost been impossible to follow. The show has been incredibly experimental and an absolute delight for Lynch fans so far.

However, with the latest episode David Lynch has broken the test tube. Just when you thought that this season couldn’t possibly get any weirder, Lynch brings us something which has never been done on film or TV before. It’s essentially a 50 minute acid trip designed to utterly assault your senses and it succeeds in the most mesmerising way. The episode starts off normal enough (normal for this show anyway) with evil Coop and his crony talking in the car on a Lost Highway-inspired night drive. Things go wrong though and evil Coop gets shot which results in the weird stuff happening. Lights flash in typical Lynchian fashion and ghostly tramps covered in black tar appear and tear apart Coop’s body for what feels like an eternity.

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We’re then left to contemplate this horrifying image whilst Nine Inch Nails play a full song at the Double R Club. It’s an interval which would feel distractingly out of place in any other show, but we’ve become so accustomed to the unpredictability of Twin Peaks now that the scene somehow works entirely and feels somewhat ordinary compared to what happens next. Bad Coop jolts up and all hell breaks loose.

Suddenly we flash back to New Mexico in the 50’s and move painstakingly slowly into an atomic bomb. Once the camera enters the cloud we’re treated to what can only be described as pure cinema. It’s something which cannot be described with words akin to the final moments of Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and segments of Gaspar Noe’s Enter the Void. Bizarre images and a frightening score combine to create a hypnotic and alarming experience which feels like you’re taking a dreamlike journey into hell. It’s a scene which has to be seen to be believed and is reminiscent of the earliest short films by Lynch which used paintings and drawings as animation.

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Once we’re done with having a seizure, we move onto a slower and more soothing Eraserhead-type scene which sees the giant and a strange woman wondering slowly around a ball room of some sorts. It’s visually arresting and the black and white monochrome is startlingly beautiful. The giant floats into the air and a golden ball with Laura Palmer’s face rises out of his chest and melts into a projector screen which displays the world. It makes little sense, but I think we’re witnessing the birth of BOB in the atomic bomb and the birth of Laura’s soul in the red room. Perhaps Laura was created to lure BOB into the red room?

Moving forward a few years a pair of young sweethearts take a stroll home, an ugly bug hatches out of an egg and the blackened tramps are back terrorising people. In the previous episode, Jerry Horne stood outside looking terrified and shouted ‘I think I’m high!’ which is probably what most viewers felt like during this episode. You can theorise about what it all means, but it’s much better to just go along with the ride and feel what you’re watching. It’s pure art and it’s astonishing. People thought that we had reached the peak golden age of TV but David Lynch has proved just how powerful television can be and how it can be used as a medium for art. Drama conventions were torn apart in 1991 and Mr. Lynch has reinvented TV again in 2017. Damn fine.

10 Greatest Scenes In La La Land

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01-la-la-landLove it or loathe it, there’s no denying that LaLaLand is a bold film. The Damien Chazelle-directed musical was nominated for a whopping 14 Academy Awards, and almost won seven of them if it wasn’t for dastardly Moonlight snapping up the Best Picture win at the last minute.

Of course due to its musical nature, there are many people who simply don’t ‘get it’. However, for the rest of us I thought it would be a nice idea to look at the 10 best scenes in La La Land as pretty much every scene in the film is memorable.

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https://creators.co/@StephenHampton/4242108

Madonna’s Albums Ranked From Worst To Best

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WHAT!? Madonna albums on a movie blog? Yes I know it’s a jarring tonal shift but on this blog, on this page, I. AM. GOD! You might be surprised to find out that I have a rather large passion for old divas as well as strange and disturbing horror films. It’s a bit of a strange combination, but I never said that I was normal.

One of my favourite artists of all time is Madonna. She is the unadulterated queen of pop and quite possibly the most famous woman in the world. She has sold over 300 million records worldwide (the most by any female artist), won almost 300 awards including: 7 Grammy awards, 16 Guinness World Records and 2 Golden Globes, and has embarked upon 10 world tours. At 58 years-old she’s showing no signs of slowing down and is a true ground-breaking talent.

It’s interesting for me because I started getting into Madonna’s music a couple of years ago upon the release of her latest album, ‘Rebel Heart’. I saw her fall down those stairs at the Brit Awards and fell in love. So I have been able to judge each album objectively and with no previous attachment to any. To me, all of these albums are new as I’ve just discovered them! So let’s explore my extremely biased thoughts on the astounding 13 albums by Madge.

13) Erotica (1992)

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Picking the weakest Madonna album is like saying that ‘Following’ is Christopher Nolan’s worst film. It might be true, but that’s not to say that it isn’t in any way good! For a lot of people, Erotica is their favourite Madonna album and I can see why. It caused an almighty stir upon its release thanks to the album coinciding with Madonna’s ‘Sex’ book (basically a high-brow celeb porn mag masked as art) and its liberal attitude towards sex. Madge even created an alter-ego for the album in the guise of Mistress Dita, a masked dominatrix with a penchant for whips and orgasms (so basically just Madonna herself then). However, for me the album has aged poorly with its 90’s electronica beats and cheeky lyrics which sound tame compared to the filth on the radio of today. Aside from a couple of terrific bangers and some surprisingly good covers, most of the tracks are flat and forgettable.

Best song: Erotica
Album Rating: 6/10

12) Bedtime Stories (1994)

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After a spout of number one albums, ‘Bedtime Stories’ ended up being one of the queen’s lowest charting albums and unfortunately it’s not all that hard to see why. Madonna collaborated with a slew of R & B producers which resulted in a nice album but a little bit too mellow to what we’re used to. In terms of reinvention, it’s fantastic as you’d never think of putting Madonna and R & B together, and it does work surprisingly well. There are also some classic tracks in here including Take A Bow (one of her biggest ever hits) and tour favourite, Human Nature which sees Madge as the unapologetic bitch we all love her for. The Bjork-penned title track is also too deliciously weird to miss out on!

Best song: Human Nature
Album rating: 7/10

11) Like A Virgin (1984)

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It might seem like sacrilege to place such an iconic album at the bottom of the pile but that’s just a testament to how strong Madonna’s output of music has been. It has an extremely strong 80’s sound to it and features some of the decade’s biggest hits with Material Girl and Like A Virgin despite both of them not being written by the queen herself! Unfortunately (and somewhat shockingly) all of the songs written by Madonna are the weakest and contain some of the fluffiest lyrics. There’s no denying the infectious catchiness of it all though and it still remains as one of the best follow-ups to a debut album of all time.

Best song: Like a Virgin
Album rating: 8/10

10) Madonna (1983)

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This is the one which introduced the world to arguably the most famous name in the world. It took over a year and a half for the album to turn gold, but thanks to the enduringly catchy tunes and iconic music videos, ‘Madonna’ solidified itself as one of the most influential albums of the 80’s. With only eight tracks on the album, there’s barely any room for a weak song so pretty much any one of them will get you dancing. Upon release Madge was likened to sounding like “Minnie Mouse on helium” and many critics cited her as being a mere “one hit wonder” but little did they know, eh?

Best song: Lucky Star
Album rating: 8/10

9) Music (2000)

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How does one follow up a ground-breaking critical smash hit like ‘Ray of Light’? With a dance/country/electronica beast like ‘Music’ of course! The material girl evolved herself beautifully from the gorgeous stripped-back sounds of ‘Ray of Light’ to something a little more experimental and playful. It’s still an intensely personal album which provides some lovely ballads, although Nobody’s Perfect and Paradise (Not for Me) are a little dreary in comparison. Everything else is a winner though, particularly the hit title track which reached number one in 25 countries and is still incredibly danceable almost 20 years later!

Best song: Music
Album rating: 9/10

8) True Blue (1986)

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If anyone was still in any doubts about Madge being a young flash in the pan then ‘True Blue’ showed them that she was here for the long run. Selling 25 million copies worldwide and providing the world with anthems such as Papa Don’t Preach and Live To Tell, Madonna proved that she was a true talent with superstar quality. A lot of the songs were inspired by her marriage with Sean Penn so there’s a wonderfully romantic, upbeat quality to the album as a whole. It proved to be a monstrous hit with critics and audiences alike and saw her transforming into the queen of pop we know her for today.

Best song: Live To Tell
Album rating: 10/10

7) Hard Candy (2008)

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For many, ‘Hard Candy’ represents a low point in the queen’s career and I have to admit that when I first heard it, I wasn’t a huge fan. The hip hop beats and R&B collaborators didn’t sit well with me on the initial playthrough. However, when I heard it again, it all clicked for me and there isn’t a song which I don’t love. Now I consider it one of my favourite Madonna albums and one of her most underrated efforts. The album has an incredibly cool sound to it and features some fantastically sassy dance numbers such as Candy Shop and Beat Goes On, as well as some surprisingly powerful ballads in Miles Away and Devil Wouldn’t Recognise You. Even the much criticised Spanish Lesson is infectious and could be read as a tongue-in-cheek sequel to La Isla Bonita. Thankfully the album was a huge hit and supported the biggest selling tour by a female artist of all time, ‘Sticky & Sweet’.

Best song: Miles Away
Album rating: 10/10

6) Ray Of Light (1998)

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Often referred to as ‘the comeback’ album even though Madge didn’t really have anything to ‘come back’ to! She was hotter than ever in the 90’s, with two chart-topping albums and massive ground-breaking concerts in ‘Blond Ambition World Tour’ and ‘The Girlie Show World Tour’ Madonna was at the height of her powers. This only increased when Alan Parker’s ‘Evita’ was released, earning the queen of pop a well-deserved Golden Globe award. ‘Ray Of Light’ was undoubtedly a terrific reinvention though. It saw Madonna sporting her best vocals ever, earning her numerous Grammy awards, as well as her most open-hearted, personal lyrics. William Orbit’s distinctive stripped-back production was also pretty innovative and still sounds fresh today. It shows Madonna as a more mature artist and remains as one of the very best albums of the 90’s.

Best song: Drowned World/Substitute For Love
Album rating: 10/10

5) American Life (2003)

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Another terribly underrated album which was met with mixed reviews from the critics. There’s no denying that this album is a masterpiece though, for Madonna fans at least. Not only is it a terrific concept album with an innovative electronic acoustic sound running through the record, but it also shows Madge bearing her soul and being vulnerable for once. All of the songs are incredibly personal and the ballads are downright beautiful, especially the Stuart Price produced X-Static Process which features some heart-breaking and powerful vocals from Madonna. There’s also some cheeky fun to be had with the title track and Hollywood which raise interesting questions about the American dream and materialism. ‘American Life’ is Madonna at the height of her song writing powers here, it’s just a shame that no one else quite got it.

Best song: X-Static Process
Album rating: 10/10

4) MDNA (2012)

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OK call me crazy but I honestly think that ‘MDNA’ is one of the best albums she’s ever done. At 53 years-old Madonna proved that she could still outdo her peers by releasing a thumping EDM-inspired record designed to blow your socks off. Despite lukewarm reviews, ‘MDNA’ debuted at number one worldwide making Madonna surpass Elvis in the UK for having the most number one albums for a solo artist. From the infectious Girl Gone Wild opening right through to the reflective Falling Free, ‘MDNA’ is a consistently strong and surprising record which never fails to get your hips moving on the dance floor. Tracks like Gang Bang and Love Spent also show an experimental side to the songstress which suitably expresses her anger towards ex-husband Guy Ritchie, whilst Golden Globe-winning Masterpiece shows a more tender side.

Best song: Girl Gone Wild
Album rating: 10/10

3) Rebel Heart (2015)

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It’s criminal that ‘Rebel Heart’ didn’t receive more attention than it should’ve done. The fact that it got leaked days before its release might have had something to do with the lower sales, but there’s no denying that the record is terrific. It showcases every glorious side of her and her music. There’s the fun, the sexual, the serious, the playful, the egotistical, the vulnerable and the humorous. It’s also her longest album (I’m counting the deluxe as the definite version) which proves that even after almost three decades Madge is still at the top of her game and can create a banger of a song. How Living For Love didn’t become a monster Hung Up level hit still puzzles me to this day. Ghosttown and Joan Of Arc also serve as two of the material girl’s most powerful ballads. It’s an almightily solid record.

Best song: Living For Love
Album rating: 10/10

2) Like A Prayer (1989)

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After breaking records with ‘True Blue’ Madonna followed it up with this iconic work of art. ‘Like A Prayer’ exposes Madge’s soul and is less interested in producing fluffy pop songs. She had a lot more creative control over the record and it’s all the better for it. It opens with not just the best Madonna song but arguably the best pop song of all time and follows it up with the remarkably catchy and empowering, Express Yourself. Promise to Try, Oh Father and Spanish Eyes all show off the extraordinary song writing talents of Madonna as well as some powerful vocals. Madge has always been criticised for her voice and it might not be the strongest, but you can really hear the raw emotion on this record, it’s impossible not to get moved by it. She really doesn’t put a foot wrong with this one, it’s simply extraordinary.

Best song: Like A Prayer
Album rating: 10/10

1) Confessions On A Dance Floor (2005)

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Now this is how you do a concept album! If the world didn’t quite embrace the stripped-back quality of ‘American Life’ then a dancetastic 70’s inspired floor filler is definitely what the world needed. Madge evolved herself seamlessly into a disco goddess and showed that after 22 years of great music, the best was still yet to come. In her forties, Madonna was the best she’s ever been and ‘Confessions On A Dance Floor’ became an instant critical and commercial smash hit, and it isn’t difficult to see why. Sampling ABBA and Donna Summer, Madge resurrected the golden age of pop whilst putting her own unique modern twist on it. It’s quite simply one of the greatest dance albums of all time and features some of the greatest pop songs Madonna has ever produced. It was also followed by a stunning record-breaking world tour which served as a powerful warning to her younger peers. You think you can follow this?

Best song: Hung Up
Album rating: 10/10

Twin Peaks: The Return

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Director: David Lynch

Stars: Kyle Maclachlan, Sheryl Lee, Catherine Coulson

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Before I start delving into the two-part premiere of Twin Peaks: The Return, I’d like to give you some context to my Lynch obsession. To me David Lynch is the greatest filmmaker that has ever lived and I mean no hyperbole by that statement. His films aren’t for everyone but there’s no denying that there’s nothing like them around, he’s simply incomparable to his peers. Watching his films is like viewing a painting or listening to a piece of music, there’s something inside of you which either likes it and accepts it or doesn’t, and it’s fine if you don’t like it. It’s a perfectly normal reaction to watch a woman in a radiator singing at you with massive hamster cheeks and think ‘what the heck is this load of rubbish!?’ and turn it off. However, to me it’s an indescribably haunting and hypnotic experience which makes my heart race.

I am definitely more of a David Lynch fan than a Twin Peaks fan. For me, the episodes directed by the man himself are by far the strongest and most ground-breaking, particularly the final cliff-hanger episode which stands as one of the most fantastically immersive things Lynch has ever done. I also much prefer the dark, horrifying vision of Fire Walk With Me which departed from the jovial tone of the TV series, signified by the opening shot of a television being destroyed. However, there are still hardcore Twin Peaks fans who consider the film an abomination due to how drastically different the story and tone is. These same people are going to be incredibly frustrated by the opening of season 3.

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David Lynch seemingly (and tragically) disappeared from the edge of the Earth after the release of his impenetrable feature film, INLAND EMPIRE in 2006. So you can imagine my excitement when it was announced that Twin Peaks was going to come back with 18 episodes, all directed by David Lynch. That’s almost 18 hours of pure magic after over ten years of nothing Lynchian on our screens. The announcement was made back in 2014 so we’ve been patiently waiting for what feels like an age for Twin Peaks to come back on our screens and the other night it finally appeared!

No one knew what to expect when the two-hour premiere was about to start. The production has been kept absolutely top-secret and the teasers released by Showtime barely show more than three seconds of new footage at a time. However, I can guarantee that no one in the world would predict how the opener turned out as it did. In typical Lynch fashion our expectations were completely and utterly subverted within the first ten minutes. Those expecting a cosy rehash of the original series must be incredibly disappointed because this is not the old Twin Peaks we know and love, however it is unapologetically the David Lynch we know and love.

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I was immediately reminded of Eraserhead in the opening five minutes which sees the kindly giant chatting with Dale Cooper in stark monochrome adjacent to a puffing gramophone. They’re in the iconic red room which they’ve been sitting in for twenty five long years. Everything about the scene has the director’s fingerprints all over it and it’s beautiful to see. The giant spouts total nonsense to an aged Cooper to which he responds, “I understand” a hysterical in-joke for Lynch fans. Things don’t become much clearer in the next 100 minutes.

Shockingly, the premiere spends barely any time in Twin Peaks and is more interested in startling events surrounding New York, South Dakota and Las Vegas. Old characters are met fleetingly and with more weirdness than usual. The structure and atmosphere of the show resembles Mulholland Drive more than the original Twin Peaks as there are so many strange strands and subplots which all somehow relate to each other in intriguing and inexplicable ways. It’s interesting to think that most of the feature film, Mulholland Drive is actually a pilot episode; so this new season may give us a glimpse of what the shelved Mulholland Drive TV series could have looked like.

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Like most David Lynch films, the best way to experience it is to just go with the flow and ask questions later because nothing makes sense. It feels like we’re watching an explosion of Lynch’s unconscious mind on film, only I do believe that there is a solvable plot in there unlike the anarchic madness of INLAND EMPIRE. There are some extraordinary scenes of pure cinema which cannot be explained with words. The New York segment, for example, is utterly hypnotic and finishes with one of the scariest moments I have ever seen on screen thanks to nightmarish imagery and a terrifying sound design. I literally flew out of my seat, something I haven’t done since the tramp sequence in Mulholland Drive. There are also moments of surreal terror in the red room which go beyond anything we’ve ever seen in the world of Twin Peaks.

It’s the most astonishing two hours of telly I’ve ever experienced. It’s a true work of art and the directing is unparalleled. No other director can conjure up such an immersive dreamlike atmosphere quite like this. Detractors will moan about how they don’t understand it but it isn’t supposed to be totally understood. It isn’t a Christopher Nolan sci-fi flick, it’s a surrealistic painting designed to terrify and thrill. After watching The Return and being thrown back into normal life I stuck on an episode of Game Of Thrones (which I’ve just started watching) and was struck by just how ordinary it was.

The original Twin Peaks was ground-breaking stuff and The Return looks as if it’s going to be no different. This is unlike anything that has ever been on TV before and is already way ahead of its time. Thank the heavens that Showtime have given David Lynch free reign to truly create what is bound to be a masterpiece. David is back with a vengeance and reminding us what we’ve been missing whilst he’s been on hiatus for years. It’s incredibly exciting to think that a whopping 16 more instalments are left. Who knows where they’re going to take us, but it’s going to be one hell of an unforgettable ride.

INLAND EMPIRE (2006)

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Director: David Lynch

Stars: Laura Dern, Justin Theroux, Jeremy Irons

Admittance to Lynch fans only

I remember when I watched Inland Empire for the first time. You could say that I was something of a David Lynch virgin as I had only seen The Elephant Man, Wild At Heart and Mulholland Drive. I have since devoured everything and anything he’s put his hands on from his earliest short film, Six Men Getting Sick to his bizarre animated series, Dumbland. Inland Empire is definitely jumping into the deep end though if you’ve only seen a handful of Lynch’s stuff, so I was either going to sink or swim. Luckily for me I sat there completely spellbound throughout the hefty 180 minute acid trip and was left completely shaken by what I had just seen. It was the film which turned me from a fan and into a super-fan.

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This isn’t the normal reaction to Inland Empire though. Even the most die-hard Lynch fans find massive fault with it and I can completely understand this viewpoint. This is a film which defies description. Some people liken it to David Lynch shooting random crap on a cheap digital camcorder, but I think it’s important to approach the film as you would with a piece of art or music. It’s a feeling and you either get it or you don’t. I could write an essay about how Cher’s ‘Believe’ is the best song of all time but if you hear it and don’t like it then nothing’s going to change your mind. Inland Empire is not something you can casually stick on and watch whilst playing on your phone, it’s a film which requires your absolute fullest attention. Your eyes can’t afford to leave the screen otherwise the magic will be ruined. Forget everything you know about coherent plots and movies, this is something which you have to truly immerse yourself and get lost in.

It has that lucid dream-like quality to it just like Mulholland Dr, but this time even more so. If Mulholland Drive was a dream captured on camera, then Inland Empire is a full-blown nightmare. It made me feel as if I was turning insane (in a good way). If David Lynch aimed to get his audience in the same twisted mind-set as his protagonist then he certainly succeeded. The film was a total mind funk from start to finish. I have never taken drugs before, but this is what I would imagine a ‘bad trip’ feels like. It’s exactly like experiencing a dream because dreams feel like they’re going on forever when you’re in them, yet when you wake up you can only remember bits and pieces. Inland Empire is three hours long and yet I find it difficult to recall most scenes. It feels like it’s going on forever when you’re watching it and not long at all, all at the same time. It’s the closest you will ever come to experiencing a dream whilst awake.

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You could argue that Inland Empire does lack a strong plot. Whilst Mulholland Drive by no means has a coherent and linear narrative, there is still a strong sense of a plot and a lot of it is open to deep analysis and interpretation. However, Inland Empire will have you utterly bemused right from the black and white opening which sees a blurred-faced Polish girl interacting in a hotel room. That’s not to say that there is no plot though, I just wouldn’t worry about it too much on the first viewing, just go with the flow and let the madness wash over you. It somehow manages to be grossly unwatchable, yet utterly hypnotic. I remember first watching the film and thinking that this is either the worst film of all time, or the greatest.

Most people don’t class Inland Empire as a horror film, however it’s one of the very scariest films I have ever seen and I don’t scare easily! The look of the film is very early Lars Von Trier, as it was shot on a digital camera, which adds a very raw and real edge to the film. It feels like you’re experiencing a nightmare first-hand. There are some very claustrophobic moments where the camera is right up to the actor’s face and some moments which will chill you to the core. If you jumped at the Winkie’s Diner scene in Mulholland Drive then wait until you see Laura Dern’s face in this (no offence to Laura, you’ll see what I mean).

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Talking of Laura Dern, what a performance she gives in this! If the film was more accessible then people would be calling this a performance for the ages and she would’ve rightly won the Academy Award. It’s also important to note that Dern wasn’t even given a complete script so she was as in the dark as us in regards to what the heck is going on. David would write the film as the shoot was going on and give Laura a freshly written page of script each day. I’d also like to mention the extraordinary music used in the film which adds the unsettling atmosphere. Composed by Marek Zebrowski and Lynch himself, some of it is reminiscent of The Shining and a piece of music from The Shining is even used at one point which is delightful.

If you’re going to watch Inland Empire then it’s important to do it right. Set aside three hours at night time and make sure there are zero distractions. Put your kids and partner to bed, make sure you’re comfortable and switch your phone off. Make sure you have a sizable TV with good sound, pop in the disc, press play and do not take your eyes off the screen. If you follow these tips then you should find yourself feeling lost in a nightmarish labyrinth that will seemingly never end. It’s not always a pleasant experience, but it’s certainly like nothing you’ll ever see again. In some ways, Inland Empire is the epitome of David Lynch’s gorgeous filmography.

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10 Best Horror Movies Of 2016

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2016 has been a stellar year for horror films. Every year people declare our beloved genre dead due to the tired tropes and cliches, but this year has proven that horror is very much alive and thriving. Below you’ll find my top 10 horror movies of 2016. Unfortunately, I’ve been unable to catch Under the Shadow and The Handmaiden, so those titles have been regrettably omitted.

10. ‘Green Room’

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I wasn’t as impressed with Green Room as a lot of people were. The acting was a little strange, the lighting was a dark and there were quite a few slow patches. I did love the dark, grungy atmosphere though and there were some fantastic moments of shocking violence and intensity. It follows a group of young punk rockers who get trapped in a venue run by neo-Nazi skinheads. It’s a fun premise and it does boast some memorable scenes, but it doesn’t deserve the rave reviews it received, which is why I’ve placed it at the lower end of the list.

9. ‘Lights Out’

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Thanks to an effective short film, David F. Sandberg got the chance to debut a fun, feature-length chiller with an original premise. The premise features a family haunted by a crooked spirit called Diane who only appears when the lights go out. It boasts good performances and likable characters, which are all too rare in horror films of today. The scares aren’t entirely effective, but there are moments of genuine suspense, particularly in the thrilling third act, which adds an innovative #supernatural spin on the home invasion sub genre. Despite suffering from some clichés and a sudden ending, #LightsOut stands out as one of the most memorable horror films of the year.

8. ‘Ouija: Origin Of Evil’

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This could possibly be the most surprising film of the year. A prequel to one of 2013’s worst horror films, #Ouija2 was surely guaranteed to be a disastrous abomination. However, talented writer-director Mike Flanagan (#Oculus, #Hush) raised everyone’s expectations and crafted a supernatural horror film that is better than it has any right to be. Yes, it has the usual jump-scares, possessed little girls and #Insidious-inspired demons. It also disappoints in its last act with odd pacing and an all too familiar finale, but Ouija also does so many things right. It focuses on a family that you genuinely end up caring about and has a fantastic eye for detail in its period setting. It also cleverly deconstructs the genre and plays with our extensive horror knowledge while also delivering some scenes of surrealism, which makes for unsettling viewing. Most of all though, it’s just a fun time from start to finish and you can really see that it’s been crafted by an intelligent team who have genuine affection for horror films.

7. ’10 Cloverfield Lane’

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Dan Trachenberg’s film had a strange release. No one had heard about the film until a trailer surfaced just months before the film was set to hit the big screens. People were also confused as to whether the film was a sequel to 2008’s #Cloverfield, even though the trailer looked as though it had nothing at all in common with Matt Reeves’ found footage monster movie. Lots of people (including me) are still confused by the mysterious title, but nevertheless, #10CloverfieldLane is an impressive exercise in suspense and mystery. It features a menacing performance from John Goodman as the enigmatic conspiracist, locking up two innocents with him in his bomb shelter. It’s a film that always manages to engage thanks to the constant, intense atmosphere and intrigue. It also doesn’t opt for a predictable finale, rather, going for something delightfully crazy and different altogether. It never takes itself too seriously and I look forward to seeing where exactly the Cloverfield universe is heading

6. ‘The Conjuring 2’

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Here’s another sequel that managed to surpass expectations. #JamesWan managed to outdo himself with this beautifully crafted supernatural horror film. It follows the (supposedly) true story of a family in England experiencing some spooky activity of the paranormal kind. #Conjuring2 places most of its focus on the family instead of scares, so that we’re totally invested in their story. That’s not to say that the film doesn’t have scares though. James Wan’s directing is as effective as ever at building up an atmosphere of almost unbearable suspense. He has also created one of the most iconic horror villains in recent memory with Valek, the terrifying demon nun. It’s a masterful film that manages to unsettle, entertain and emotionally involve its audience in equal measure.

5. ‘The Neon Demon’

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Nicolas Winding Refn’s polarizing look into the fashion industry feels like a natural progression from the criminally underrated Only God Forgives. He’s swapped stunt driving and gun-slinging for gals and make-up. The story itself isn’t anything original — it’s the tale of a wide-eyed girl with big dreams who ends up getting consumed by them; however, the way it’s told is nothing short of masterful. Every shot in #NeonDemon is a work of art that oozes absolute style and beauty, which is exactly what the film is about. It’s full of hypnotic, Lynchian imagery, which makes you feel as if you’re watching a dream unfold. There are several stunning moments of pure visual cinema which is something of a rarity nowadays. The film also ends on a memorably whacky and disturbing note which will have you pondering over for weeks. It’s not a film which everyone will appreciate, but those who are attracted to strange and immersive films will find a lot to love.

4. ‘Don’t Breathe’

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It hasn’t been a good year for the homes of the disabled. We already had a deaf woman getting her home invaded this year in Mike Flanagan’s #Hush, and now Fede Alvarez’s #DontBreathe shows us a blind man getting his house burgled by a gang of youths. Surely the most intense movie of the year, Alvarez makes every shot and sound count in his home invasion horror. Don’t Breathe is masterfully directed and dripping with suspense. It delivers non-stop thrills at every corner as well as featuring a memorable villain in Stephen Lang’s deadly Rambo-esque veteran and a badass heroine in Jane Levy’s Rocky. It’s a terrific experience on the big screen and is pretty much guaranteed to have you holding your breath on several occasions.

3. ‘Train To Busan’

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This Korean undead tale is arguably more of an action thriller than a straight-up #horror movie, but it does have #zombies in it. It’s also great and easily the best zombie flick since Shaun of the Dead. It follows a neglectful father taking his young daughter on a train to a nearby city to see her mother. Unfortunately for them, hordes of the living dead begin to overtake most of Korea just as the train is about to depart, leaving the passengers in a desperate fight for survival. #TraintoBusan is pretty much a non-stop, two-hour thrill ride — no easy task considering that it’s almost entirely set in the confines of a train. It hurtles from set-piece to set-piece in waves of brilliant intensity that leave you gasping for air. The film also packs a surprising emotional wallop thanks to its terrifically drawn-out characters who you end up genuinely caring about. I found myself holding back the tears on more than one occasion.

2. ‘The Wailing’

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The Koreans have been ruling horror this year with Train to Busan, The Handmaiden and now this, #TheWailing. It’s an enigmatic mix of crime, thriller, supernatural horror and dark comedy. It could’ve easily turned into a mess, but thanks to Na Hong-jin directing an unpredictable screenplay we’re left with an unforgettable near-masterpiece. It follows a bumbling yet lovable policeman as he investigates a series of mystifying murders plaguing his tiny village. Does it have something to do with the strange Japanese man who recently moved to the nearby forest? The Wailing keeps you guessing to the very end and always enthralls with its surprising twists and often hilarious comedy. Some may find the film silly, but it has such ambition and engaging characters you can’t help but appreciate what it’s trying to succeed. It’s a fantastic horror film that plays on your mind long after the credits roll.

1. ‘The Witch’

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I can hear the cries of abuse now. For some reason, The Witch didn’t sit well with a lot of audiences after generating a lot of early critical acclaim. There’s no denying though that #TheWitch is the best horror film of the year so far and is destined to become a classic. Someone described it as “a Brothers Grimm fairytale directed by Stanley Kubrick” and that is the most accurate description I could think of. Robert Eggers’s debut film is a phenomenal piece of filmmaking and one if the scariest horror films to hit our screens in quite some time. Everything about The Witch is masterful, from the intense foreboding atmosphere to the bold unsettling score.

The film is set in 1630 and follows a God-obsessed family who suffer a series of tragic events after being banished to an isolated house next to a terrifying forest that is possibly home to a witch. It’s a film laced with horrifying imagery and suspense that explodes into an entirely satisfying finale that left my mouth agape. The Witch isn’t just the best horror movie of 2016 so far, but the best film period. Oh, and let’s not forget that it contains the best performance of the year in the shape of Black Phillip the goat.

So there we have it. Told you it’s been a knockout year for horror! What films have you enjoyed the most?